New Japan Cup Finals (3/24): Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA, Juice Robinson Defends IWGP U.S. Title


New Japan Cup Finals
March 24, 2019
Niigata, Japan

MANABU NAKANISHI & YUJI NAGATA def. YOTA TSUJI & YUYA UEMURA when Uemura tapped out to the Nagata Lock II while Tsuji was trapped in the Torture Rack.

COLT CABANA, MICHAEL ELGIN & TOA HENARE def. HIROYOSHI TENZAN, SATOSHI KOJIMA & SHOTA UMINO after Elgin destroyed Umino with a superkick, a huge lariat, the Buckle Bomb and finally the Elgin bomb.

DAVEY BOY SMITH JR., LANCE ARCHER & MINORU SUZUKI def. TOGI MAKABE, TOMOAKI HONMA & TORU YANO after Suzuki trapped Honma in the sleeper hold and KES hit him with the Killer Bomb.

BUSHI, EVIL, SHINGO TAKAGI & TETSUYA NAITO def. KOTA IBUSHI, REN NARITA, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & TOMOHIRO ISHII in an 8-man tag team match when Takagi dropped Narita with the Pumping Bomber. Some interesting dynamics between Naito and Ibushi after the match, which could be setting up for a title match as Ibushi beat him in the New Japan Cup. Ishii and EVIL brawled after the match as well.

TAICHI & ZACK SABRE JR. def. HIROSHI TANAHASHI & WILL OSPREAY when Taichi kicked Ospreay in the nuts and rolled him up for the win. After the match Taichi put him in the Emporer’s Cross and ZSJ put Tanahashi in the Octopus Stretch.

BAD LUCK FALE, HIKULEO & JAY WHITE def. HIROOKI GOTO, MIKEY NICHOLLS & YOSHI-HASHI. The CHAOS members all beat down White and Goto hit the Ushigoroshi, but the champion countered the GTR and dropped him with Blade Runner.

JUICE ROBINSON (c) def. CHASE OWENS to retain the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship. Juice had to fight up a damn mountain for this one. Not only was Owens bound and determined to win his first major singles title, but Juice had to fight off numerous attacks and interferences from Jado, kendo sticks, blinding powder thrown in his face, the referee being pulled out of the ring, and even a monstrous spear from Bad Luck Fale. Somehow he still shook off ALL of that, hit Pulp Friction and won. After the match Fale tried to attack him, but “Mad” Mikey Nicholls made the save and helped the champ fight off Bullet Club. 

KAZUCHIKA OKADA def. SANADA in the finals of the New Japan Cup. Tremendous match. Okada worked the neck to set up for the Rainmakers, while Sanada worked the neck to set up for the Skull End. They beat each other to a pulp and Sanada looked like he had it won, applying the Skull End with a body scissors until Okada was nearly unconscious, but he came up empty on the moonsault. Neither would quit and kept kicking out of everything, until finally Okada hitting a second Tombstone, a spinning Rainmaker and another Rainmaker to put his opponent away.

— Okada closed out the show by saying he wants a rematch with Sanada one day, and promised to defeat Jay White to win back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden. White came out with Gedo who put over his champion in a moment that reminds everyone of the history between these three. White said Okada can’t beat him, he’s never beaten him, and he will walk out of The Garden still the champion, having beaten the Rainmaker for the third time in a row. The two left and Okada claimed he couldn’t understand White, which got a huge pop and the fans started chanting his name. He said White just wasn’t on the Rainmaker level and the fans celebrated with him, as streamers rained down from the ceiling, and Okada hoisted up the New Japan Cup trophy.